Published: 3 January 2018 at 11:00
Research finds small producers are linking social media with food festivals to thriveA strong social media identity and local food festivals are becoming increasingly vital to small businesses who are being priced out of town centres, according to research by Anglia Ruskin University.
“Food festivals, which bring together small, local producers, are becoming increasingly popular with a public that is discerning in its tastes and becoming bored with ‘clone towns’.
“Small businesses are continuously utilising physical festival spaces, fringe events, social media and digital identity to get their name known among people that otherwise would never have come across them before. They can piggy-back on the wider festival social media presence and use it as a platform for interaction and debate, increasing their online reach, and help consumers track their location across the city using GPS location and Twitter updates.
“The result in Cambridge has seen a push toward a foodie revolution – consumers continue to use temporary events and digital footprints in order to seek out these niche producers as an alternative to the city centre chains that are considered bland and unexciting.
“Festivals furthermore provide a powerful collaborative vehicle for these small producers, who are working together to pull customers away from the city centre and creating new destinations of their own – for example in Cambridge, Bene’t Street is colloquially referred to as Meat Street due to the number of small producers present in that area.
“Local, smaller producers are truly becoming increasing entrepreneurial in accessing the visitor and tourist economy – which is vital for thriving and surviving in the era of the ‘clone town’.”